Amendola enters into the Lions offense with a clear role in 2019.
The Lions made some big moves during the offseason, mostly on the defensive side of the ball. Signing veteran receiver Danny Amendola did not fly under the radar per se, but it was not the most headline-grabbing acquisition made by the team. Amendola will ostensibly take Golden Tate’s role in the offense, occupying the slot with Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones on the outside.
Amendola is 33 years old and has a 10-year NFL career on his resume. While he started his career with the Rams, it was his time in New England that really helped him grow in prominence. After five years — and two rings — with the Patriots, he took his talents to Miami, before being released and subsequently signed by the Lions last March.
Expectations for Amendola may not be sky-high, but as a possession receiver with plenty of experience, some are hoping for him to replace a sizable chunk of Tate’s production.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
What do you expect from Danny Amendola in 2019?
My answer: Not too much. To start with the numbers, from 2010 to 2017, Amendola had five seasons with over 600 yards, tallying at least 80 targets while catching no more than four touchdowns in a given year. These are perfectly acceptable numbers for a third receiver. Meanwhile, Tate had 517 yards and three touchdowns on 69 targets in seven games with the Lions last season.
Tate is the better player, but Amendola’s best seasons are clearly within the range of Tate’s 16-game pace last year. So why am I low on expectations? Simply put, there are not enough targets to go around.
Yes, Theo Riddick is leaving 74 targets on the table, and combined with Tate’s 69, that is a healthy number to go around. It seem seems like Kerryon Johnson is going to expand on his 39 targets, however, and Marvin Jones Jr. missed seven games last year, so his 62 will see a jump. More importantly, Levine Toilolo and Luke Willson saw a total of 43 targets last season. Would it be a surprise to see Jesse James and T.J. Hockenson to double this number?
My projection is a mere 60 targets for Amendola, which should translate to over 40 catches and maybe close to 500 yards. This is not very flashy at all, but it would be exactly what the Lions as for him. Amendola is arguably the sixth-most important weapon on the team, so he will not be called upon too often.